2021 News

November 19, 2021


Mile Championship (G1) - Comments from runners' connections
Yomiuri Milers Cup (G2)
Cadence Call

Cadence Call (horse, 5)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“The 1,800 meters of the Mainichi Okan was not his best distance and he’s not good in the heat. I think that did him in. He’s much better now that it’s cooled off. On Nov. 11, he clocked 51.8 seconds up the hill course with a final furlong in 11-some seconds. His time was good before his last race too but he was running with his head high. This time, his running form looked good and the jockey had him nicely in hand. His time was 1 minute 31.4 seconds in the Yomiuri Milers Cup, so I think the conditions and the speed needed are both to his liking. He’s back in shape, so I think he’ll do better than he did last out. The lineup is pretty strong. We’ll see how close he can get.”

Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap (G3)

Catedral (horse, 5)

Manabu Ikezoe, trainer
“At one point in the Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap over the tricky Nakayama course the jockey moved him out but he was kept waiting. But, he did really move well in the finish. Instead of having little time between races, he’s better when he’s fresh, so after that race we decided to aim him here. On Nov. 10, he worked over the flat course. The ground was heavy but his time was good and he moved solidly. Mentally, he’s much more mature now and his prep has gone well. Since he won at Nakayama I think he’ll find Hanshin an easier course. And we won’t have the long trip to the track. They’ve been using the A course for a while now and it’ll be even better if the ground is good for maneuvering on the outside coming in to the stretch.”

Danon the Kid
Danon the Kid

Danon the Kid (colt, 3)

Takayuki Yasuda, trainer
“I could feel he had matured in his last race, the Fuji Stakes. His condition was different from how it was in the spring. He was already in pretty good shape then and I’d had expectations of him in that race but he wasn’t able to quicken any more than he did in the stretch. And I suppose that’s partly due to him returning from a layoff. He has sharpened up since then, which means he had a lot of room for improvement in his last race. On Nov. 11, we breezed him and he did look strong when he picked it up in the finish. I think the extra 22 kg he’s put on is due to his maturing as well as the fact that he had lost weight in the spring. That weight is back on. Again, the layoff had something to do with it but I hadn’t expected him to be overtaken the way he was last out. I think on Sunday he’ll be able to measure up.”

Darlington Hall
Darlington Hall

Darlington Hall (colt, 4)

Yu Ota, assistant trainer
“He’s never been good in the gate and he ended up racing from a rear position in the Fuji Stakes. But it was his first mile and he did well considering. I think the operation on his windpipe has helped a lot and mentally he was fresh and he had a good run. We kept him at the training center because we wanted to keep that freshness. Once we started getting him ready, his first hard workout saw him running nicely balanced. I hope he breaks well and can get a good position. It’s a G1 and the others are strong but I’d like to see how well he can do in his present condition.”

Victoria Mile (G1)
Gran Alegria

Gran Alegria (mare, 5)

Kazuo Fujisawa, trainer
“There isn’t much time between the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and this race. I’ve had her work on the hill course mainly, often with a partner. Up until now, she has raced with quite a lot of time between races, but this time it’s the same as between the Victoria Mile and the Yasuda Kinen. Back then, her hooves weren’t in good shape and that delayed some of her training. This time, that’s not the case and, luckily, she looked good after the Tenno Sho (Autumn) so we were able to get her properly prepared. With her speed, I thought she’d be able to do well over 2,000 meters but turning into the stretch in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), she had to be urged on sooner than usual. It was a familiar course for her, but I think the distance was a bit too long. This time it’s a race she won last year and she’s good over the Hanshin 1,600 meters. Last year, things didn’t unfold that much in her favor but she raced well to the end. This year, there’s a fantastic young horse in the mix and this one is retiring. She’s a horse who has given it her all from the time she was 2 years old, but I’m asking her this, to please give it your all just one more time.”

Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards

Grenadier Guards (colt, 3)

Taku Fukunaga, assistant trainer
“In the Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap he traveled relaxed and calm, and he was patient. But, when urged on, his responses were lacking. It was quite different from the image I had of him in the spring with the jockey holding him back. I suppose returning from time off had something to do with it. He went to the farm for a bit after that and jockey Kenichi Ikezoe rode his first fast work on Nov. 11. He worked on the woodchip flat course and clocked 82-some seconds. That was about what we’d expected. To look at him, he looks like he has some excess on him but his movement was good. That workout should get much more tuned up. He used to get agitated easily but now, for good or for bad, he’s much more relaxed. It’s very hard to say when and where to have him switch on. His preparations are, however, going exceedingly well. I think, as a 3-year-old, he still has a lot more ahead of him.

Arlington Cup (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (G3)
Ho O Amazon

Ho O Amazon (colt, 3)

Yoshito Yahagi, trainer
“With the gate he drew in the Swan Stakes, there was no choice but to send him forward and he ended up taking the lead. He tried hard over the final meters. He was rested and he’s more mature now. I think it was a very good prep for the main event. He came out of that race well and trackwork has been going as planned. The jockey rode on Nov. 11 and gave him a hard workout over the woodchip flat course. I think it was a very good piece of work. His hindlegs as of last week were still not as toned as I’d like. We can get them that way he’ll be able to move more easily. He’s very agile and can race from any position. He doesn’t have to lead. The Hanshin mile is one of his best trips. If it rains it’ll be even better.”

Indy Champ
Indy Champ

Indy Champ (horse, 6)

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer
“Last year, like this year, he’s returning straight from the Yasuda Kinen. I had been worried last year but he did well. This year, we have Hong Kong in mind and we thought it best not to give him a prep. He has gotten a lot of work though. In this week’s fast work I had him start about a length behind the other horse and the plan was to have him catch and pass the other. But, that horse could run too and held him off, so they finished together. The time wasn’t bad and the last 800 meters were fast, with a final furlong of 12-some seconds. Last week he started from farther behind the other horse and didn’t catch him. You may think he isn’t in good shape but he started from further back and his movement was virtually the same. He’s had hard workouts over the past two weeks, four fast workouts since coming back to the training center. I think that’s sufficient. The 3-year-olds will be carrying 1 kg less and there are other G1 winners, and I think the field will be stronger than it was last year and last year’s winner is strong. But, I just hope to get good results and take on Hong Kong next.”

Kurino Gaudi
Kurino Gaudi

Kurino Gaudi (horse, 5)

Norio Fujisawa, trainer
“In his last race, the Swan Stakes, he was slow out of the gate and the jockey only urged him on enough to make up for the initial lost ground. But he was then keen and though the jockey somehow managed to hold him, the pace was slow and he just couldn’t travel well, considering it all. So, due to this, he couldn’t show us what he usually does. All went as usual after that and he’s been working as planned. We breezed him on Nov. 7 and the fast work this week should have him tuned up. I think he’ll be able to maintain his condition and go to the gate in good shape. This time he’ll have a different jockey, not the one used to this horse, and the distance will be longer, so I wonder what kind of race he’ll run. I hope, for the future as well, that he can show himself in a good light.”

Sekiya Kinen (G3)
Lotus Land

Lotus Land (filly, 4)

Yasuyuki Tsujino, trainer
“She broke well in the Fuji Stakes, so instead of holding her back, she was sent to the front. But, her moods never last long. She did respond in the stretch at first but in the end she was stronger this time so I’m hoping she do her best.” just romping along, not running seriously. She’d gotten a lot of work so I guess it was partly due to her returning from time off and also due to her gain in weight. We kept her at the stable after that to prepare for here. On Nov. 10, she worked with another horse, catching and overtaking him. She looked sharp and her balance was good. She’s familiar with the Hanshin outer 1,600 meters. This time we’re thinking of having her hold back and keep something in reserve for the final stage.

Rainbow Flag (horse, 8)

Ken Kozaki, trainer
“In the Port Island Stakes Oct. 3, he raced from a forward position as he has in his recent races, but the ground was just too fast. He had some time off at the farm after that and returned to the training center on Nov. 2. He’s gotten regular work since and on Nov. 11 we gave him a hard workout on the woodchip flat course. His condition has always been quite stable and his hooves are strong. Even at this age, he doesn’t show any signs of aging and I think he can still give quite a good performance. He only has a short kick, so key is when to use it. He’s good over poor going and I’d like it to rain so the track would be slower.”

Ripresa (colt, 3)

Hiroyuki Oneda, trainer
“The pace was slow in the Cassiopeia Stakes last out and he got a position midfield. It wasn’t a bad spot, but in the final stage he didn’t show us the kind of footwork we’d thought he would. I think the distance might have been a bit too long for him. His preparations have gone well and last week he looked good and has definitely improved. We should have him in excellent shape for the race. The jockey is probably thinking along the lines of what he did in his 1,200-meter win. If he keep something in reserve like he did then, how well can he do in the mile? The lineup is a strong one but, with an eye to the future, I’m interested in seeing just how well he can do here.”


Salios (colt, 4)

Noriyuki Hori, trainer
“Last out was the Yasuda Kinen, and the Osaka Hai before that was over heavy ground. It took time to get him recovered from the Osaka Hai and we were careful in his prep, but I suppose there were areas where he was not fully back at his best. In the Yasuda, he also ran into traffic problems in the stretch but did recover and run well afterward. It reminded me of just how good he is. After that race, it took him a while to recover and there were problems with his hooves, so we’re going into the Mile Championship without a sharpener. He has spent the summers in Hokkaido for the past three years and he came back healthy and refreshed and in great shape. His prep has gone as planned and his right hind has improved. His gait is still not 100 percent but his overall balance when running has improved. His breathing is good too and I think he’s in good shape. He won the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes over the Hanshin 1,600 and I’m sending him to the gate with confidence.”

NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Schnell Meister

Schnell Meister (colt, 3)

Takahisa Tezuka, trainer
“He gave a better performance in the Mainichi Okan than I’d expected him to. After that he went to the farm for a bit and since there wasn’t much time between races, I asked that he not be allowed to get slack. He did get a lot of work and came back looking much better than he usually would. I think he got some rest as well. We gave him a hard workout last week and I think he’s fit. He has the trip to the track so we did leave a bit room for that. Takeshi Yokoyama called me up early this week and asked if he could ride fast work again. He liked what he felt and I think he’s even more confident now. The horse has always been a cool, laidback type so I don’t think the trip to the track will put him at any great disadvantage. The stretch is long in the Hanshin mile but he has good closing speed so I don’t think the outer course will be a problem. Winning the Mainichi Okan means he’s capable of winning the G1. But Gran Alegria is strong and with jockey Christophe Lemaire up it’s quite an opponent. Yokoyama though has some momentum behind him and I hope he’ll do his best.”

Sound Chiara
Sound Chiara

Sound Chiara (mare, 6)

Akio Adachi, trainer
“For the Swan Stakes she was returning from time off and I was worried that she’d be heavy but she was leaner than I’d thought. Her start was good but moving to the inside saw her get shuffled back. Still, she showed some really good footwork in the stretch. Not being able to move early on no doubt helped her keep something in reserve. It was also a good sign of strength. With little time between races, we had her work up the hill on Sunday, Nov. 7 and this week we gave her a solid workout on the hill again. Since she just raced Oct. 30, I think this should be enough. She’s likely to show improvement and the mile is within her range. It’s a G1 and the competition is strong so I’m hoping she’ll try her best.”

Sound Kanaloa (horse, 5)

Akira Murayama, trainer
“He came out of the Dotombori Stakes well on so we decided to take on the challenge of a Grade 1. His last race was just a little while ago, on Nov. 7, which doesn’t give us much time between races. I think a bit of fast work will be sufficient this week. He was able to take the lead over 1,200 meters but this time it’s a mile so we’re still pondering whether to go forward or to hold back a bit. I think giving him more distance will bring out a new side to him.”


Sources: Keiba Book, Netkeiba, Radio Nikkei

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